WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University's defense overwhelmed Apprentice School on a picturesque Saturday afternoon before 554 at Hotchkiss Field as the Bison recorded six turnovers (five interceptions, one fumble recovery) in a 38-14 non-conference football victory.
The Bison (2-0) controlled the clock as they held the ball for over 43 minutes while Apprentice (0-2) averaged just over a minute per its 14 possessions. GU converted on 6-of-7 chances in the red zone and scored 10 points off the six turnovers committed by Apprentice. Gallaudet rushed for 371 yards on 75 carries and compiled 441 yards of total offense in the 24-point win.
Sophomore quarterback Todd Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) ran for a game-high 114 yards on 23 carries while fellow sophomore BJ Flores (Raymondville, Texas) gained 101 yards on nine carries (11.2 yards per carry) and scored one touchdown. Todd Bonheyo completed 3-of-7 passes for 38 yards and was sacked once and threw one interception. His longest pass, 32 yards, went to his older brother Ryan Bonheyo (Frederick, Md.) in the first quarter. Todd Bonheyo also hauled in a 32-yard pass from sophomore Braxton Baker (Webb City, Mo.) late in the second quarter.
Baker scored two short touchdowns to start the first and second quarters as GU led 14-7. Ryan Bonheyo (39 yards rushing, 30 yards receiving) scored from seven yards out with 11 seconds left before halftime. Gallaudet took a 21-7 lead into intermission.
The Bison started the second half with the ball and used a 13-play, 61-yard drive, which chewed up over six minutes on the clock, to score their fourth touchdown of the game. Senior Mike Hantge (Hutchinson, Minn.) plunged in from 1-yard out at the 8:46 mark. Hantge was Gallaudet's third leading rusher with 56 yards on 12 carries.
Apprentice used a short field, after a Bison punt, and marched 43 yards on seven plays to score its second touchdown of the game. Builder quarterback Jonathan Whelan (20-for-36, 190 yards) connected with Travis Turbin on a 6-yard pass.
The Bison outscored Apprentice 10-0 in the fourth quarter as Gallaudet won its home opener for the second straight season. This is the third consecutive win for the Bison against Apprentice in three years. Apprentice holds a 13-4 series advantage between the two schools.
Junior linebacker Jaris Alleyne (Waldorf, Md.) led the balanced Bison defense with eight tackles (six solo) and had a key interception, late in the second quarter. Apprentice was at the Gallaudet 7-yard line and Whelan threw an interception to Alleyne at the 1-yard line and he returned it 14 yards.
Junior defensive end Tyler Snider (Thornville, Ohio) finished with four tackles, two sacks for a loss of 13 yards, broke up one pass at the line of scrimmage and had one quarterback hurry. Senior defensive back Nicholas Elstad (Colorado Springs, Colo.) had a hand in three turnovers as he made two interceptions and returned a fumble for an apparent touchdown but there was a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that nullified the score and put the Bison at 18-yard line where they had to settle for a 28-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Chase Magsig (Hudsonville, Mich.).
Apprentice linebacker Brock Bullock led all defenders with 18 tackles (12 solo) and three tackles for a loss of four yards. Defensive end Erol Carter recorded 14 tackles (10 solo) and had four tackles for a loss of 21 yards, one sack, one quarterback hurry, one forced fumble and recovered two fumbles in the first quarter for the Builders. Gallaudet turned the ball over three times in its first four possessions to start the game.
Freshman running back Justin Ewing (East Palo Alto, Calif.) made his collegiate debut for GU and finished with 27 rushing yards on eight carries in the fourth quarter.
GU has scored points in every quarter this season and has found the end zone in 7-of-8 quarters so far this year.
Gallaudet will complete its non-conference schedule next Saturday, Sept. 21, as the Bison host Rochester (N.Y.) University (1-0) for a 12:05 p.m. kickoff.